snowflakes in desert / THE FUTURE OF MANUFACTURING

EXPO DUBAI / 2020 (2021)

As a progressive and forcefully worldwide recognized 3D printer manufacturer Prusa Research was invited to contribute to the Czech pavilion at EXPO 2020. (The EXPO was postponed due to the COVID pandemic by a year).

Overall DUBAI EXPO themes were – Sustainability, Opportunity, Mobility. Czech pavilion was in part of Sustainability. The main theme of the Czech pavilion was harvesting the water from the air with the S.A.W.E.R system.

The display had to fit in all of these. Prusa wanted to showcase the advantage of 3D printing as a technology. It was the right opportunity to dive headfirst into his plans for his new 3D printing farm and showcase it there!


(photo: Josef Průša giving a interview)

snowflakes in desert

3D printing is the most powerful technology to produce a large number of unique items. It does not matter if you 3D print one geometry one million times, or a million of personalized geometries.

Snowflake is an ideal object to demonstrate the capabilities of the 3D print farm – mainly the ability to easily produce infinitely unique objects. Every year, more than one septillion (a trillion trillion) snowflakes fall from the sky worldwide, and no two of them are exactly the same.

I designed several typologies of snowflake geometries with Rhino/Grasshopper 3D. All geometry is parametric and was later transformed into a simple app.

Any visitor can use a simple touchscreen interface to modify their own snowflake, which is then sent to the print farm and manufactured over the next five hours. No delays with preparation, no molds to prepare. Just click and print. They can later take the snowflake home or add it to the collective ever-growing dynamic sculpture.

collective sculpture

The sculpture reflects an important message: what we do in the present will affect our future – the snowflake you create and print will probably end up in the hands of someone else a few hours later. What do we pass on to those who come after us?

Snowflakes are a great contrast to the hot climate of Dubai City. It as wall responds to the Czech pavilion concept – WATER – and harvesting it from the air. We are bringing it even further and from the liquid state 3D print it solid. Snowflakes gradually pop up as a rime on the pavilion’s stainless-steel rods as a collective sculpture.


Autonomated 3d Printing Farm

The new technology is offering a unique glimpse into the future of manufacturing. Internally developed autonomous print farm equipped with brand new Original Prusa 3D printers sets the direction in which the 3D printing industry will continue to evolve.

A futuristic production line consisting of thirty-four Original Prusa 3D printers is operated by in-house developed software. The autonomous print farm can be expanded and adjusted to suit individual needs.


More info about the 3D printing farm


connecting pieces

Each flake has 4 vertexes. There is one TOP PIN and three BOTTOM PINS. There are designed two types of special connection pieces for these pins. When assembled those push&click pins holds the flakes in their exact position to unite the structure grid.

3D models of connection pieces can be downloaded for free.


snowflakes as a modular building units

3D printed SNOWFLAKES can be used to create a various designs. Here are three examples – Table, Chandelier, and Space Divider.



Prusa 3D printers use polylactic acid (PLA) filaments to print snowflakes. The material is UV reactive and it makes the snowflakes shine.

photos by Jakub Kmošek

more info at Prusa3D


© Dominik Cisar